Friday, September 28, 2007

Just As I Thought

So the information last week that all 82 Caps games will be televised this season was wrong. It will be only 81 games this season. The lone game out is as I said the November 6th game in Atlanta.

Of course, NBC has the "flex scheduling" which allows them to drop and add games on their broadcast days as they so choose. I for one would not be surprised in the least to see the Caps get scrubbed at least once.

But let me reiterate what I did back in August, there's no excuse for the NHL to prohibit the television broadcasting of any of their games in the United States. The NHL is not the NFL and cannot afford to blackout its fans like this.

If the NHL wants to do a "Game Of the Week" with an exclusive broadcast, that's fine. They however need to ensure that they won't be blacking out any other markets. Even if it is only two or three games a season, that's still two or three games too many.

The one interesting aspect is that with the introduction of Comcast SportsNet+, the Caps will no longer have an over-the-air TV affiliate. I'm wondering if this is because WDCW is making their airtime more expensive or if Comcast just feels like there's no need to use them anymore? Either way, it means that Center Ice will carry the Caps broadcast for every home game not on NBC or Versus.


Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Scholckmeisters Strike Again

In their vanilla (and I do mean vanilla) Caps preview, the Worldwide Leader in Schlock link to a polling question. You options for "Best Defenseman on the Capitals this season" are Tom Poti, Brian Pothier, and Ben "What A" Clymer.

Maybe they missed the memo, but the Clymer blueline experiment was a failure last season that didn't last very long and nobody is expecting him to play there this season. Though maybe they can be excused because the Caps roster lists him as a defenseman.

And about the other choices, what about Shaone Morrrissonnn and Milan Jurcina? At the end of last season, these two were the top pairing and weren't very bad at it either. But actually following the sports their covering instead of the hype that they play a huge hand in creating is asking too much of the Worldwide Leader in Schlock.

Finally if you're heading out to Kettler today to watch paint practice, don't bother, the Caps have canceled practice today. However, if you still wear red to Kettler, they'll give you a free ticket to a preseason game today (while supplies last of course).


Get With The Program Guys

According to Ted Leonsis, the Caps are not experiencing the complaints that other teams are about the new uniforms. I've long felt that all the complaints leveled about the new uniforms (most of which came out before they were ever introduced) have more to do with the knee-jerk reaction to anything suggested by Gary Bettman than anything else. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if these new complaints about soaked gloves and skates are based entirely upon this. I'm willing to bet that had Don Cherry been the catalyst of these new uniforms, they would be the greatest thing since sliced bread and everybody would be signing the praises of the new uniforms instead of complaining up and down the street.

I wouldn't be surprised either to find out that these complaints are largely unfounded too. With the wicking technology, you're more likely to notice what other areas are wet because everything else covered by the stuff is dry. I've worn my share of Under Armour and I can tell you it does a much better job of keeping you dry when your moving than when you aren't. I've stood in the rain with Under Armour on many times and it does NOT keep you drier because not only can it become saturated (like anything else) it also needs air circulation in order to work properly. So if you're a hockey player standing around or just sitting on the bench, the stuff won't do much for you, but if you're out on the ice moving around, it will dry off and be lighter than regular cotton shirts. The only other option is to hang the stuff up on a hanger. You also have to be very careful washing the stuff because fabric softeners ruins the technology.

Finally it isn't as if hockey players haven't had to deal with wet skates and gloves before these new uniforms. All teams now have a glove drier that they take with them and use between periods. Gary Roberts even admitted that this problem creeps up late in the playoffs during May and June with the old uniforms. Besides, since when did hockey complain about anything like this? This is a sport where it is a badge of honor to get cut, stitched up, and come back to finish out the game. Pain is something to be tolerated yet I'm supposed to believe that these guys can't put up with the annoyance of wet socks and gloves? It's no secret that the players do not like Bettman and I have a sneaking suspicion they're having the same knee jerk reaction as many hockey fans do.


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Raise Your Hand If You're Also Underwhelmed

I made it to the Caps preseason game last night and I have to say, I was rather underwhelmed by the much ballyhooed new scoreboard and video screen. I do have to say that the picture is much nicer than the old one, but the only time I ever watched the screen was for replays.

The ribbon boards around the 400 level were annoying more than anything else. When the ads changed, the amount of light in the arena changed with it and it drew your attention away from the game.

The new setup is a lot like what they now have in Philadelphia only we're under utilizing the system compared to Philly. The corner pieces with the caricatures of the Capitol Dome, Washington Monument, and Jefferson Memorial topped with stars is nice but seems to me to be a waste of space, especially since the rings on top and bottom just displayed ads all night.

I'll grant you it was the first time they've used the system so hopefully things will improve. It wasn't until the third period last night that they figured out how to place the score, clock, and shots on goal on the 400 level ribbon board. The club level ribbon board was extended all the way to the end but the new panels weren't online yet and the corner displays weren't up and running yet either.

Though let me give a compliment to the new color scheme throughout the phone booth. That ugly purple and yellow is now thankfully gone. But was all of this worth a tax hike on tickets? I still say no.

And as I feared, the numbers on the Caps new jerseys are much easier to read but the the names are just as difficult as they always were. I had no problems reading the names of the Hurricanes but unless I knew which Cap was which by number, I still needed binoculars to read the name.

As for the game itself, the Caps pulled it out in OT 3-2. Nicklas Backstrom, Viktor Kozlov, and Mike "BEAM ME UP" Green scored the goals. The Power Play and referee Don "Have Another Donut You Fat Pig" Koharski both looked to be in midseason form (Yes, it is the same cheap joke I break out every year) and Jakub "and sons" Klepis did himself no favors by missing a wide open net in the first period.

Shaone Morrrissonnn had a great scoring opportunity in the second period and held onto the puck in the slot too long before shooting. Cam Ward made a routine save. If there was anything that struck me last night is was the Caps continuing to hold onto the puck for just a little too long before either passing or shooting. That was a problem that plagued them last year and MUST be corrected before they can even think about contending for a playoff spot.

However it is tough to get a good read on how well somebody is or isn't playing in the preseason when the game is about 3/4's speed. Seven (yep, that long) years ago now Jakub "and sons"Cutta had an excellent camp and preseason. He made the team coming out of camp that year; but when the games counted for real, he couldn't handle the speed and was sent down after appearing in just three games. He played 5 more in the NHL since then and hasn't been heard from since. So while guys like Tomas Fleischmann and Green are having strong camps and preseasons, it does not mean it will carry over into the regular season.

The best news of the night however came from the Nats who, despite trying hard, held onto a seven run ninth inning lead and won 10-9. It was the 71st win for the Nats this year and it matches their total for last season. That means they need just one win in their final three games to beat last year's record. Their "magic number" to lock up fourth place is two.

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Sometimes The Jokes Just Write Themselves

Canadian Diving Team Captain, Secondary Assist Cindy Crosby, hurt his groin.

I know what you're thinking, but take a look at this gem of a quote from Cindy:

I felt it a bit

This is a family blog so please make up your own jokes at home.


Not Seeing Red Yet

Today the Caps announced that the team will wear their white jerseys for all of their exhibition games this season, including the three home games this week.

This is taking a page from the 1995 jersey redesign when the Caps did not wear their home jerseys until the regular season home opener as well. What this exactly proves I don't know, but that's what the team has decided they are going to do. Something tells me that people are going to be more interested in the new scoreboard at the Phone Booth than they are about the jerseys the team is wearing. (All 3,000 at least tomorrow night...)

Of course with the all boo-hooing over the redesigns (my favorite are the complaints from the fighters, hey maybe now they'll think twice before mindlessly dropping the gloves because somebody looked at somebody cross eyed) maybe this isn't a bad thing. Though something tells me if these new jerseys get dumped, the Caps will still have the same stupid new logo.

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Clues To the TV Schedule

Tim Lemke over at the Washington Times $ports Biz Blog tells us that Comcast SportsNet will create an alternate channel to carry games on nights when conflicts exit like October 5th when the Caps open their season in Atlanta and D.C. United visits Kansas City.

The Channel will operate like the alternate channel for the alternate network that the Nats have been enslaved to and apparently will occupy the same channel too. (I typed in my zip code and nothing came up)

Tim also tells us that Comcast Sportsnet will cover 75 Caps games this season.

Add in the seven games scheduled to be on Versus and NBC and it looks as if the Caps will have all 82 games on TV this year. This means earlier fears about the November 6th game against Atlanta being blacked out appear to be unfounded. However, the Comcast SportsNet online schedule only goes until October 31st; so as of right now, we cannot completely confirm that will be televised.

Of course, with the season starting two weeks from tonight, why we have to find this out from a blogger and not the Caps or Comcast SportsNet themselves is beyond me. Maybe us bloggers do have a role to play in the future dissemination of information...


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

In Honor Of Talk Like A Pirate Day

I'll be using the Pirate Translator to deliever the Caps top story line entering today:

Aye, since Washin'ton opened trainin' camp on Sept. 14, a grand mighty o' 24 players have been cut from the roster. Yesterday was the largest cut t' date, as 19 players war sent t' the Hershey Bears, Washin'ton’s American Hockey League affiliate and one player was released. It’s crunch-time for the 20 forwards, 12 defensemen and fi'e goalies remainin', many 'yin' for a permanent spot on Washin'ton’s roster. Gar, Where can I find a bottle o'rum?

Anyway, back to the grind, sorry for the lack of posts recently but I haven't had much time to throw something good together.


Friday, September 14, 2007

Thanks Ted!

As usual, the Caps Promotional Schedule is out now that training camp has arrived. And while J.P. is all over the Mullet wigs (which really would be more appropriate when the Penguin Scum arrive); I'm a fan of the scarves on January 13th and I'm obnoxious enough to take credit for the suggestion. Though what's the deal with the Mr. Potato Head giveaway?????

In personnel news, the Caps were dealt a blow when Eric Fehr failed his training camp physical (First reported by new media blogger Corey Masisak). This hurts because the Caps needed to get him time on the top two lines this season and will have now have to scrape again to find somebody to work in with A.O., Alexander Semin, Viktor Kozlov, Nicklas Backstrom, and Michael Nylander.

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Solves That Problem

Other circumstances had already conspired to skip driving down to attend the free preseason game this Sunday in Carolina. With the veterans hitting the ice for the first time tomorrow, the odds of the Caps sending much in the way of veterans to Raleigh was low to begin with.

Now should you still decide to make the trip, don't expect to see A.O. playing in the game. He's going to be back at Kettler doing a CCM event with kids who won an on-ice session with him as a part of CCM's "Guts and Glory" Training Camp Tour.

I can't say that I am all that surprised though it will be interesting to see how many of the kids from the just completed Rookie camp get invited and play this coming Sunday.

Also my season ticket package arrived in the mail yesterday. With the change in logo and uniforms, I'm not surprised by the ticket design because there are not a bunch of action shots of the players in the new uniforms. Though what is the deal with the jumbo ticket size?

If you haven't already heard, the Caps are planning a White Out when the Penguin Scum infect the Phone Booth on October 20th and the Caps are asking all fans to wear Red at the Home Opener on October 6th. Though for the life of me, I can never figure out why the Caps can't release a promotional schedule before the public sale of tickets (which starts on Saturday).

Finally, I apologize for not have much of anything around here recently. Things have been very busy at work recently and won't be slowing down for another couple of weeks. Combined with increasing efforts on a job search, I don't have much free time to devote to this endeavor. Hopefully all will be resolved by the time the season starts up but I will do my best to get certain things done.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

If You're Not Cheating...

So we now know why New England Patriot's Head Coach Bill Belichick has become such a genius, he's stealing other team's signals.

Remember, before he became Head Coach in New England, he was a failure in Cleveland.

And while another article mentions that this has been going on for awhile with the Patriots, I'm not stupid enough to think that they are the only ones doing something like this. Stealing signals is why the NFL now has radio receivers in the quarterbacks helmets and the coaches calling the plays cover their mouths when calling in the play. Former Redskins Head Coach, the late George Allen, was notorious for his paranoia that he was being spied on. That probably had a lot to do with the fact that he was spying on other teams himself.

But having a guy standing on your sidelines videotaping your opponent is pretty blatant. IMHO, the minimum penalty should be forfeiture of the game itself. That more that anything else would have an immediate and last impact on the team. Revoking draft picks will take a long time, if ever, to impact a team. Goodell has shown that he will come down very hard on the players who act out of line, he should at do the same to teams who break the rules as well.


Sunday, September 09, 2007

Sunday Smorgasbord 9-9

  • Think NFL Pre-Game shows are becoming overproduced? NBC now has Bob Costas, Chris Colinsworth, Jerome Bettis, Peter King, Tiki Barber, and Keith Olberman to handle a one hour and fifteen minute broadcast. In case you can't keep up, that's six people. I remember when the NFL Today on See-BS was just Brent Musberger, Irv Cross, and Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder for 30 minutes. I'm especially puzzled at the addition of Keith Olberman. While he's back doing what made him famous in the first place, he's clearly lost something (for me at least) since he started braying for the moonbats. Dan Patrick will soon be available, maybe NBC could add him too, I mean, why not?
  • And before I get to talking about today's Skins-Dolphins game, I'd like to extend a hearty thanks to the United States Air Force for scaring the begeezbus out of me and everybody else around me after they flew over not one, but two C-17's over the game during the second half after the 9-11 Remembrance Halftime show. Nothing like seeing the very large shadow of a very large plane with four jet engines come out of nowhere from behind you, twice.
  • What had to be the funniest moment for me during today's 16-13 overtime win for the Redskins was the holding penalty on #44 of Washington in the first quarter during a punt. I'm a little ashamed to admit it wasn't until the referees corrected the call and said it was Miami and not Washington that I realized that the Redskins don't have a #44 anymore. (John Riggins retired in 1985) But beyond that it was as ugly of a win as you'll ever see. Jason Campbell was awful despite the 12-22 and 222 yards passing. His throws were not very good today and both interceptions were entirely avoidable on his part. Santana Moss was mostly MIA but dropped too many balls. Stephon Heyer did a decent job filling in for Jon Jansen who is likely done for the season with a dislocated ankle and maybe for good. Chris Cooley had a pretty good game despite being used mostly as a blocker. But there's a lot of room for improvement and they'll need to improve before they face an angry Iggles team (who somehow lost to the Packers) up next.
  • For all intents and purposes, the Atlanta Braves are out of playoff contention. But you could be forgiven for not knowing that with the way they smacked the Nats around this weekend in Atlanta. While the Nats did avoid the sweep today, they made things way too easy on the Braves by committing error after error after error. The Nats are 64-79, 17.5 games back of the New York Mets in the NL East but 3 games up on Florida in fourth place. The Nats will be eliminated from division contention this week and being 13 games behind San Diego for the NL Wild Card, they could be eliminated from playoff contention this week as well. The one saving grace for the Nats is that the remaining schedule for the Florida Marlins is just a tough, maybe tougher, as the Nats is. The Nats have already ensured that they will not lose 100 games and should they finish in fourth place, Manny Acta should get serious consideration for Manager of the Year.
  • A fun ride home on the Metrorail blue line got even more raucous when we stopped at RFK and picked up D.C. United fans coming out of the 4-2 victory over the New England Revolution. I saw some of the tape delay broadcast on Comcast SportsNet and it was good to see Jaime Moreno score a goal in the run of play. United bounced back well from the disappointing 2-2 tie with Chivas on Thursday night as Luciano Emilio continues to hold the hot foot scoring 4 goals in the two games. United is now 14-6-4 with 46 points and a four point lead over New England for the lead in the Eastern Conference and Supporter's Shield for best record overall. United is just one point away from clinching a playoff spot and is 18 points away from clinching the Supporter's Shield.
  • The Terps kept things going with a 26-10 win over Florida International last night in the Orange Bowl. All accounts I've read of this game say that once the Terps got up 16-0 quickly in the first quarter, the players and coaching staff started to pack things in and let the Golden Panthers (as opposed to the Pink Panthers) hang around. While last year's game was even closer (Maryland needed an interception on the goal line to preserve the win) come December, nobody is really going to remember how well the Terps did or did not play, they'll just count the win.
  • And if you're looking for the team to beat in the ACC, forget the Hokey-Pokey's, they're the sentimental favorite because of the campus shootings. Look at Georgia Tech. Chan Gailey has put together a very good program and Joe Tenuta has a tough defense to beat. They should have gotten more notice after they pasted Notre Dame last week but (predictably) everybody was focused on how bad the Fighting Irish looked. And speaking of Notre Dame, they now play fellow 0-2 Michigan who proved that last week's upset by Appalachian State was no fluke. After VA Tech's pasting last night in Baton Rouge, can we please hold off on ranking teams until at least four weeks into the season?
  • If you happen to be bringing Care Packages to Kettler this week, I wouldn't bother with razors and shaving cream. The Caps Rookie Camp (re)started this week and 27 players are looking for an invite to attend the real training camp with the big boys. While some of the kids are a mortal lock to be in the big camp, there could be a few surprises. However if Sami Lepisto, the godson of Jari Kurri, or Francois Bouchard, four years and one day younger than his brother Pierre-Marc, a fifth-year NHLer with the Minnesota Wild, happen to make a large splash, I'll report on it.
  • This week, the Nats continue their road trip by heading down to Florida for the final time this year with a chance to lock the Marlins in the cellar and throw away the key. The three game series starts tomorrow night. After a day to fly back to Washington, the Nats begin their final homestand in RFK Stadium on Friday night when they host the Atlanta Braves for another three game beatdown. D.C. United has another busy week again as they host Real Salt Lake on Wednesday night at RFK Stadium. Real Salt Lake ended D.C. United's 7 game unbeaten streak back in June and D.C. is now riding a 6 game unbeaten streak. D.C. then heads up to Chicago to play with the Fire on Sunday afternoon. The Terps have a very quick turnaround as they host the West Virginia Mountaineers at Byrd Stadium on Thursday night on ESPN. And for all of you puckheads (and stalkers) who aren't like Allen Iverson and enjoy watching practice, the veterans Capitals report to training camp on Friday Thursday and hit the ice for the first time on Saturday Friday. The Redskins are off this week only because they play next Monday night.
  • As always, please send all comments, questions, criticisms, suggestions, corrections, and job leads to "capsnut" over at gmail dot com.


Friday, September 07, 2007

Almost Too Good To Be True

The story of Rick Ankiel reinventing himself as an outfielder after flaming out as a pitcher has been one of the feel good stories of this year. And like just about everything else that has been good for baseball in recent years; the ugly issue of performance enhancing substances has reared its ugly head.

You gotta love the legalism here, the agent hiding behind medical privacy laws and the "shipments stopped after it was banned." Of course the overt delivery of Human Growth Hormone stopped. These guys aren't entirely stupid. Even Big Head BALCO Barry Bonds* maintains that he was a innocent victim of circumstance who didn't know what his trainer was having him take.

Stories like this really makes you wonder just what in the world the Mitchell investigation is going to come up with and what the fallout of the findings will be. Landis barred for life players who knew of gambling related activity, did not participate in it, but failed to report it. While these are different times it would be in the "best interests of baseball" for all past steroid and HGH users to face some kind of sanction.

IMHO it would be the only way baseball can save face in light of this ever growing scandal.


Thursday, September 06, 2007

Just Make Up Your Mind Already

If I were an Anaheim Thug Ducks fan, I would be livid after today's Scott Niedermayer press conference.

So the guy needs to hold a presser to inform everybody that he still hasn't made a decision on the upcoming season yet??? I swear, I saw this as a SNL Sketch many years ago (or maybe it was a Chuck Hagel presser a couple of months ago)...

And where may I ask is the great leadership of the team in General Manager Brian Burke? Why hasn't he drawn a line the sand with Niedermayer who is occupying $6.750 million of cap space? At this late stage, the Thug Ducks would be unable to easily replace Niedermayer, but they are handcuffed by his indecision because they don't much room to maneuver under the cap with Niedermayer in place. The Thug Ducks have no clue as to which way they should go because of the Niedermayer's indecision and Burke's spinelessness and it never a good thing.

Should Niedermayer not retire and show up late, the Thug Ducks will know which direction they can go. However, he'll be way behind the curve and is more likely to be a hindrance than a help to the team This is yet another reason why Burke should draw a line in the sand with the guy.

Great leadership qualities all round out there.


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Recaputured Glory?

Serious puckheads are playing close attention to Canada-Russia Super Series that, in the beginning, was being compared to the 1972 Summit Series between Canada and the Soviet Union.

Why is beyond me. The 1972 Summit Series was in response to Canada boycotting the Olympic hockey tournament in protest to the Soviet Sports machine where their "amateurs" were allowed to play in the games despite being full-time hockey players.

The original in 1972 was a nail-biting affair as Canada used NHLers and needed a third period comeback along with a last minute goal to win it. Canada needed the series to prove that it still produced the best hockey players in the world but that belief was clearly shattered despite winning the series.

However, this new one isn't nearly as close, and the three remaining games are just formal procedures. The Canadians have won the series and the only question left is can Russia win a game?

Now again, why Canada is trying to recapture the glory of 1972 in this fashion is beyond me. Since the end of the Soviet Union, Russia has only won two medals, (neither gold, not counting the gold medal for the 1992 CIS team) in Olympic play. The World Championships isn't a good barometer because the NHL playoffs are still going on and many teams ice shorthanded squads. But since 1993, Canada has 8 medals, four golds, while Russia has just 4 medals, only one gold in the World Champioships.

As for the Junior nature of the competition, the results are even more lopsided. Canada has 8 Junior Gold Medals and 14 overall while Russia has 3 golds and 12 overall. In the past twenty years, Canada has only been shut out of medals three times and one of those was due to a bench clearing brawl against the Soviets in the final game of the 1987 tournament. Had Canada kept their cool, they would have won at least a bronze medal and were on track for another gold in 1987.

Yes, Canada has faced off against Russia for the Junior Gold Medal 5 of the last 6 seasons, but Canada has won the last three in a row and only last year's was even remotely close.

The U.S. tried the same thing five years ago when they tapped Herb Brooks to coach the 2002 U.S. Olympic team, but they came up short in the gold medal game to Canada. But considering that this current exhibition has been nothing but a laugher, I'm curious as to what Canada thinks they are going to get out of this. Weren't they already going to be the favorites for the gold medal in the Czech Republic next year?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

A Glutton For Punishment

Roenick not done.

Looks as if the San Jose beat writers will have a fun year keeping up with the (egos) mouths of Roenick and Head Coach Ron Wilson.


Our Litigous Society, Part I

Cruising around this morning I came across this report on a New Jersey State Supreme Court case where a spectator is suing her local ECHL team, league, and arena after being hit in the head with a puck during warmups.

It is bad enough that those of us who like to sit behind the goal have to look through netting but even if this case is thrown out, it is only a matter of time before the netting is enclosing the entire hockey rink and ruining the view for everybody who comes to the game.

Now, (despite what some of you might think) I've never been hit in the head (or anywhere else for that matter) with a puck. What happened in Columbus in 2002 was a tragedy. But the overacting litigiousness of our society is taking all the fun and joy out of living. If something goes wrong, you can bet there's a lawyer that will find somebody to blame.

There's no way you can expect hockey teams to cut down on the number of pucks they use in warmups so the only way to avoid these nonsensical lawsuits is to put even more barriers up around the rink. Everybody loses when that happens because one of the little joys in life for young fans is the chance that they can catch a stray puck or a foul ball. But if we continue to put more and more barriers up, the less likely youngsters will be able to experience that joy from going to a game.

Because when you sit down and think about it, how many pucks have flown off of hockey rinks and into crowds before somebody was tragically killed? Every year the NHL alone has 1,230 games in just the regular season. The odds of you getting hit, lettalone killed, are small to begin with. Yet because of some ambulance chasers, we have to act like you're going to be struck by lightning every time you go to the rink.

It almost enough to make you wonder just how in the world human civilization survived to this point...


Monday, September 03, 2007

On Any Given Saturday...

Heading to the Nats game Saturday evening, I saw a lot of dour Michigan fans on the Metrorail after Appalachian State upset the Wolverines.

Now I don't get the Big "Ten" network so I've seen as much of the game as most of the country has which is just the highlight package, and looking at the box score, it is tough to figure out what went wrong. Yeah Michigan turned the ball over twice, but Appalachian State turned it over 3 times. Appalachian State had a minimal advantage in time of possession and Michigan run up rather respectable numbers rushing and throwing. Looking at the stat sheet, you see why the score was as close as it was because the two teams put up identical numbers.

But what everybody is harping on is that Appalachian State is a 1-AA (or Football Championship Subdivision) team and Michigan was ranked #5. This game shouldn't have been close especially since it was being played in Ann Arbor.

Well, for starters lets remember that Appalachian State is a two-time defending 1-AA (now Football Championship Subdivision) champions. Appalachian State has beaten other 1-A teams and has given other 1-A schools all they could handle. I think a good case could be made that Appalachian State belongs in 1-A and not the Football Championship Subdivision. Don't forget, this was the closest Appalachian State was going to get to a Bowl game this year too. If you're looking for some school to relegate in place of Appalachian State's promotion, here's a suggestion.

As for Michigan, well, one has to wonder just why in the world they were ranked #5 to begin with. As a matter of fact, this game is a prime example as to just what is wrong with the college rankings system in the first place. Michigan, just like every other ranked team, had done absolutely nothing to warrant being ranked in the first place. The much-maligned BCS doesn't even bother issuing their rankings until mid-October. Why should the other polls rank teams before then as well?

And it wasn't just Michigan, the Virginia Tech-East Carolina game was tough to watch because neither team wanted to win. VA Tech was getting manhandled on offense and defense but ECU couldn't stop shooting themselves in the foot with penalties and other costly mistakes. VA Tech did not look like a Top Ten team playing a non-BCS opponent. Yeah, there was the whole shooting memorial ceremony but VA Tech came out flatter than a pancake and still didn't wake up after halftime.

As if you needed any more proof as to how bogus the pre-season rankings are, Dook annually gets ranked 25th by their former Head Coach Steve Spurrier. Dook got blitzed by football powerhouse U-Conned on Saturday 45-14 at Dook. The people who vote in them don't take them seriously.

Finally, right now it is halftime of the F$U-Klempsun game with Klempsun up 24-3. The game isn't that close as F$U looks like a Football Championship Subdivision team and not the 19th best team in the nation.

So congratualtions to Appalachian State, a better team than it is being given credit before because they don't want to compete in 1-A every week.


Sunday, September 02, 2007

Sunday Smorgasbord 9-2

Looks like I didn't hit the publish button last night...

  • Amazing what the threat of Congressional action can do huh? That's the real story behind the WWE's suspension of 10 of its wrestlers. Of course, the WWE isn't releasing the names, for now, but speculation is rampant as to who the 10 are. Quite frankly, I don't think you could swing a dead cat in a professional wrestling locker room without hitting a steroid user. The 10 wrestlers are the fall guys here intended to make the WWE look good in front of Congress. With any luck Congress will only come down harder on the WWE instead of easier, but considering the show trial that MLB got, odds are that Vince McMahon will get a pat on the back. Congress however should grill him and blast his "sports entertainment" equivocation. Because if Pro Wrestling is "sports entertainment" and not a real athletic competition, why do the various state athletic commissions sanction WWE events?
  • Thankfully the NFL Preseason is finally over and now we can get onto the games that really matter. And if there were some of you who still had any doubt, the cancellation of the Redskins-Ratbirds game shows just how unimportant NFL Preseason games are. I don't blame the Redskins and the game officials for clearing the stadium twice due to severe thunderstorms. In today's litigious society, you have to take every reasonable precaution. But had the Redskins-Ratbirds game been a Monday Night Football game, does anybody doubt for a second that they would have not resumed the game at some point even if it meant that the game was still going at 3 am local time? The big news for the Redskins is that they got through the preseason without any major injuries this year. I'm sure they would like to see a hack like Chris Samuels back and Clinton Portis actually work out but not losing key players for the season is a higher priority. And 8-8 record is very doable for the Redskins and if things fall into place, they could be better.
  • Tough news for the Terps last night before their 31-14 win over Villanova with the loss of Josh Portis for the season because of academic issues. You have to wonder just what is going on in the football program because this is at least the third player lost for this season because of academic issues. The Terps are now razor thin at quarterback with a true freshman, Jamarr Robinson, the third string quarterback instead of redshirting him. Here's again an example of just how different NCAA football is from the pros because Maryland has to make due with this situation instead of just scanning the waiver wire for a replacement.
  • Heading into the home stretch, the Nats have a real shot of finishing in fourth place in the NL East after taking 2 of 3 from the Giants but will have a hard time matching last year's win total of 71. One thing I was glad to see was Big Head BALCO Barry Bonds* got booed louder than Teddy not winning the President's race on his bobblehead night (did you honestly think he would win?) and that there were only 4 BALCO Bonds shirts left on the East Capitol Street after Big Head BALCO Barry Bonds* went 0-4 on Saturday night. Now at 60-77, the Nats are tied with Florida for fourth in the NL East, 16.5 games back of the New York Mets for first place. The Nats elimination number from the NL East title is now down to 10. The Nats are 15.5 back of San Diego and Arizona for the NL Wild Card with an elimination number of 10.
  • D.C. United continued their strong league play of late and overwhelmed Dallas 4-0 on the road last night. United is putting together a very strong run and in now in complete control of their own destiny. At 13-6-3, D.C. is alone in first in the Eastern Conference and overall with games in hand on their near competitors. Their magic number for a playoff spot is 7 and 14 for the Eastern Conference and the Supporter's Shield.
  • This week, the Nats can put some distance between themselves and the Florida Marlins when the fish come to RFK for a three game series starting tomorrow. After taking Thursday off, they head down to Atlanta to play the Braves in a three game series. The Nats have nothing but divisional games for the remainder of their season. The Terps hit the road to play Florida International at the Miami Orange Bowl available only over the internet. The Redskins play a game for real on Sunday when they host the Miami Dolphins. D.C. United heads out to L.A. to play the other team in L.A. (the one that doesn't have David Beckham), Chivas on Thursday night and then for some reason will try to compete with the Redskins by hosting New England on Sunday a couple of hours after the Redskins kick off.
  • As always, please send all comments, questions, suggestions, corrections, criticisms, and car repair estimates to "capsnut" over at gmail dot com.